Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia is a well-known weight loss and fat burning supplement. It is notorious for its ability to reduce appetite and put a stop to weight gain. It is a small pumpkin-shaped fruit common in India and Southeast Asia. The active ingredient in Garcinia cambogia is hydroxycitric acid. It is also known as Malabar tamarind and is purported to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Basically, it works as a fat burning supplement and appetite suppressant.

The rind of the fruit is particularly useful for flavoring fish curries and even food preservation. Some also use it as a dietary supplement for a range of conditions including intestinal problems and rheumatism. Garcinia cambogia is available in various forms including Garcinia cambogia capsules and Garcinia cambogia powders (x).

Studies have shown that the hydroxycitric acid inhibits an enzyme that converts sugar into fat (x). The enzyme that Garcinia cambogia purportedly blocks is known as citrate lyase. Garcinia cambogia raises the levels of serotonin in the brain, which reduces your appetite and leads you to feel hungry less often.

Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia HCA offers a lot of benefits including weight loss and suppressing the appetite. This is the aspect that makes it an attractive supplement for those who are overweight. Of course, it has been used for many purposes other than physical ones. This is why it has been used for such a long time — even before the weight loss function was discovered. It may also be an effective stomach ache reliever.

Weight Loss

The major benefit of Garcinia cambogia that most people associate with the supplement is its ability to aid with rapid weight loss. The effect of Garcinia cambogia on weight loss is natural and internal, which means that people who are using it do not have to do a lot of physical exercise or undertake a strict diet to benefit from it.

It is largely effective due to the presence of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which increases the potential of the body to burn fat rapidly. A review which can be found on Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine visibly exhibited that garcinia was indeed effective for weight loss and has been in many cases (x).

According to some studies, the use of HCA yielded amazing results. HCA reportedly blocks an enzyme involved in fat storage. This is partially why Garcinia cambogia can help people lose weight. While scientists have concluded that there is no definite evidence that this supplement indeed aids weight loss, there are many cases of anecdotal evidence (x). However, in most of the cases where the user has reported fat loss, this is usually up to one or two pounds. Furthermore, other people have claimed to experience substantial weight loss with prolonged use of this supplement.

As a part of a small study, a group of overweight women took either Garcinia cambogia extracts or a placebo for 60 days. Afterward, results show that the triglyceride levels of the women who were taking the Garcinia cambogia fell by almost one-third. Triglycerides are a fat type present in blood and high levels of this may increase the chances of heart disease (x).

Mood Booster

In addition to its use as a weight loss supplement, Garcinia cambogia is capable of improving other aspects of life. For example, a lack of serotonin has a connection to low mood (x). In addition to this, low serotonin levels can cause major depressive disorders, which indicates an authentic connection between the mood and this neurotransmitter. However, HCA could trigger the release of serotonin, which improves the mood. This shows how Garcinia cambogia may aid in improving the mood of a person supplementing with it (x).

In addition, Garcinia cambogia may also help to cure depression and anxiety. However, for those on certain antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, this could be a risky venture because a Garcinia cambogia addition could result in serotonin toxicity (x).

Joint Health

Improvement of joint health is another benefit of Garcinia cambogia. Joint pain often has a connection to a higher body weight — as you get heavier, the strain begins to impact the joints. This joint pain brought on by weight gain can make walking difficult and running almost unbearable. However, a steady intake of Garcinia cambogia can help you lose excess weight and reduce the stress that your joints have to go through.

Improves Endurance

Garcinia cambogia can also improve athletic ability. An intake of this supplement may boost endurance levels during exercise. However, studies are still ongoing to confirm this (x).

Potentially Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Other studies have also shown that Garcinia cambogia may be of some use in lowering of cholesterol levels. However, the results are not consistent enough in scientific studies (x). Similarly, it may work to lower blood sugar levels in certain individuals. But it isn’t prescribed by doctors because identifying the people that it actually works for is problematic.

Garcinia Cambogia Benefits

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia cambogia has a few side effects that vary from individual to individual. However, the side effects of taking it could be due to other factors. Listed below are some documented side effects that may come as a result of taking it.


A wide range of ailments can cause nausea. It usually begins as an uneasiness in the stomach that can be followed by vomiting. The causes may differ according to age, diet and other individual aspects. However, if the nausea occurs only when ingesting Garcinia cambogia, then it is likely you are suffering from this side effect (x).


Diarrhea is loose and watery bowel movements which may occur very frequently or at intervals and come with a sense of urgency. The most common causes of this problem include food intolerance, liquid foods, use of laxatives or anxiety. It could also be as a result of food poisoning, stomach flu, lactose intolerance or stomach allergies (x). If diarrhea follows intake of Garcinia cambogia then it is most likely a side effect.

Other Side Effects

Other side effects of Garcinia cambogia include headache, dry mouth and dizziness. Some more severe side effects include mania, delusions, overexcitement, irritability, reduced need for sleep and very fast speech (x).


For pregnant and lactating mothers, there is no concrete evidence that Garcinia cambogia causes any complications. Still, be cautious while taking it during these periods (x).

There is a possibility that garcinia is unsafe when taken orally. There have also been reports of people who ended up with serious liver problems. However, it is unclear whether or not it was a result of ingesting only Garcinia cambogia. Additionally, it can reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy in cancer treatment.

Garcinia Cambogia Dosage and Instructions

When supplementing with Garcinia cambogia 60% HCA powder, take 500 mg one to three times per day. The 50% HCA powder goes by the same dosage. If you choose to take Garcinia cambogia in capsule form, take one capsule three times daily 30 minutes before a meal.

The right dosage of it as a weight loss supplement varies due to several factors including user’s health and age. Despite the fact that it is a natural supplement, overuse can be quite dangerous and this is why it is essential that you contact your health service care provider before making use of it.

Similarly, following the dosage noted on the body of the supplement or contacting your pharmacist for the right dosage is essential. In addition, ensure that you follow the pattern of intake that is indicated on the product packaging.

Why Take Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia cambogia may be highly effective as a weight loss supplement. It is one of the most popular on the market as it doesn’t involve the addition of any extra effort in order to lose weight. It is especially effective for people who are looking to lose weight but have an issue controlling their food intake since it also prevents the body from craving food.

The Bottom Line

The process of losing weight could be a very difficult and grueling one. Apart from the physical exercises involved, it also involves mental strength and a great deal of discipline. This is why more often than not, overweight people slip back into unhealthy eating habits. However, with a supplement that burns fat and reduces the appetite, the weight loss process is a lot less stressful and can be more easily followed through with.

Author: James D